Snakie, Nando, Goatie and others take on Chi Basin - Part 2
This is the continuation of the legend of Snakey, Nando, Goatie and a few humans in Chicago Basin..days 3-5. With Eolus and North Eolus now behind us, we turned our gaze towards Sunlight and Windom. We opted for a slightly earlier start this time, getting us to the lakes well before sun-up.
On the trail...
Finally getting over the small hill, we have the gully and a few cairns in sight. The gully isn't the most exciting part as it is a lot of lose dirt and scree. It requires a bit of patience. Trekking poles are a helpful item on this part.
Heading up the gully
As you can see, from the top of the gully the summit is not that much further (maybe 45 min.) The spire is also just a stone's throw away.
Our goals from the perspective of Windom (later that day)
As for getting from the saddle above the gully to the summit, this part requires much scrambling and concentration. I pulled my camera out for only one part of this route: the last part just before the summit, there is a big cave-like hole that you must climb through. That part wasnt' so bad. The step just before it, however, will demand your attention. There is a bit of exposure. We took our time and had no issue.
My most memorable part of the route, looking on the way down
If I had one thing to do over again, however, I would have left my daypack down much further below on the trail. Getting it through the cave/chute was a pain, and having extra weight pulling on my back at this spot was a little...er...not fun. All in all, a lot of people we talked to on the trail refer to this route as "fun" and enjoyed it. I found it challenging but was glad for the experience.
Sunlight summit (if you count it at the marker!)
Following our descent from the gully, we cut across to a section of slabs on Windom so as to gain the ridge for our ascent. There's no two ways about it - this area is one big slog up a lot of talus to the top, but it is easier than Sunlight. After you get to the false summit, the real summit isn't that much farther.
Heading over to Windom
Looking up at the false summit of Windom
The actual summit block itself isn't too large, but there is an interesting path around to it.
Last few steps to the summit
Hooray - #4 is done and I'm ready to head back! And yes, Snakey, Goatie and Nando and the others all made it up as well.
The Windom summit!
For any who would like it, I have included my gps file here of our trip.
Some folks in our group chose Day #3 for a rest day, as I did. Some decided to do the Sunlight Spire and made it (congratulations, Chris, Andrew and Calvin!) The weather, however, only JUST cooperated for them on this day considering they encountered rain on the trail returning back to camp. The amount of weight they took in climbing gear was considerable. I'll leave it to them to tell the tale of the "Spire."
Our travels conclude on Day #5 with the return trip to the Needleton pickup. We left at 11:00am and took a leisurly pace back down, getting us to the train at just around 3pm for the 3:45pm pickup. Needless to say, the hikes were amazing but the train was a most welcome site!
Our group heads out
Good bye, Chicago Basin! See you in a few years perhaps!
My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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